Miss Universe selfie photo stirs controversy

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Beauty queen selfie sparks diplomatic row between Miss Israel and Miss Lebanon.

BEIRUT — A Israeli beauty queen’s selfie has caused a stir in Lebanon, with some Lebanese saying their country’s contestant at the Miss Universe pageant should be stripped of her title for consorting with the enemy. Miss Israel Doron Matalon posted a photo of herself and Miss Lebanon Saly Greige smiling together at pageant preparations in Miami, where the winner will be picked on Jan 25. Just like the real UN, however, sometimes there’s just no seeing eye to eye, as was the case with this week’s spat over a controversial selfie showing Misses from warring Israel and Lebanon.

Lebanese media picked up the story, running Greige’s allegations that Matalon had “photobombed” the selfie, and local social media users both defended and attacked their beauty queen for the picture. After Matalon posted the snapshot on her Facebook profile, Lebanese television station Al Jadeed quipped that, since one of her hobbies is reading, she should have read that Lebanon and Israel are enemies.

Israel occupied parts of Lebanon for 22 years until 2000, but the two countries are still technically at war and their armies occasionally skirmish along the UN-designated withdrawal line. Ms Greige defended herself on the photo-sharing service Instagram on Saturday (Jan 17), saying Ms Matalon had pestered her for a picture together and finally photobombed her. “Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel, who tried several times to take a photo with me,” Ms Greige said. “I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia, suddenly Miss Israel jumped in and took a selfie, and uploaded it on her social media.” REUTERS Israel fought a bloody war against Lebanon’s Hezbollah in 2006, which killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and some 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers. The appearance of Ms Matalon’s photograph, captioned “Good morning from us!”, prompted a wave of condemnation of Ms Greige on social media with the hashtag “two words for Miss Lebanon” trending on Twitter over the weekend, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper.

One user tweeted: “You [Greige] could have avoided mingling with the Israeli contestant like previous Lebanese contestants have done throughout the years. And if you were harassed like you say, you could have at least avoided the huge smile [we see] on your face.” Some called for the Miss Lebanon title to be taken from Ms Greige.

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